Kia piki te ora: Whānau wellness

Rochelle Menzies - IIRC
Thursday, November 19, 2020

Reorienting health towards wellness paradigms offers governments and communities, who are currently experiencing the impact of failing health systems, a positive approach to health that supports individuals and communities to stay well and to identify their own indicators of wellness. The need to address entrenched health inequities and to promote Indigenous models of wellness is critical. This work is grounded in an Indigenous health and wellness/wellbeing context that draws on Kaupapa Māori research within an Indigenous-Transformative Paradigm. It explores what whānau wellness means to contemporary, urban Māori, living in Aotearoa New Zealand. Thirty-three adult Māori aged between 18 – 76 years and residing in the Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) region, participated in long-form interviews, which yielded a contemporary nuanced conceptualisation of whānau wellness for Māori in urban contexts. Thematic findings provided rich insights into contemporary Māori perspectives on health and wellbeing, the evolving concept of whānau for urban Māori, what constitutes well whānau, what conditions promote whānau wellness, and what undermines sustainable wellbeing for whānau Māori. A strengths-based approach to analysis highlighted participants’ high levels of health literacy, proactive pursuit of personal and whānau wellbeing, strong work ethic, whānau-oriented values, aspirations of equitable participation in society, and inherent retention of core cultural values and Te Ao Māori.